At Front Office Combine, Paper Cuts Can End an NFL Career

INDIANAPOLIS.  The NFL Scouting Combine for college football players ended yesterday, but Tom Edesman, facilities director at Lucas Oil Stadium, says he will just be re-arranging things, not putting them away.  “Once the jocks are done the nerds come in,” he says as he pushes a pallet of Post-It notes in various colors along the sideline here.

“I think I handled the 8 1/2″ by 11″ pads pretty well, but I’m not used to the fourteen-inchers.”

NFL owners have discovered that the same quantitative analysis that has refined the scouting of college football players works off the field as well, as Purdue University M.B.A. Todd Rechklicht broke the single season copying efficiency record last year as a rookie, cranking out 103,248 single-sided sheets without a paper jam.  “That opened up a lot of eyes,” says Indianapolis Colts office manager Mary Kate Lebrand.  “Our service calls dropped to zero, leaving plenty of time on the clock for managers’ kids to photocopy their butts on visits to the office.”

Fun for grownups too!

Participation in the white-collar combine is voluntary, and some top-ranked prospects say they can’t risk a chance of a career-ending paper cut.  “I’ve never had a problem with the big/small paper clip separation drill,” says USC’s Mike Gonkowski, “but a friend of mine started bleeding profusely during the collating and stapling dash, and he ended up playing in Canada.”

Personal trainer

After the combine teams will sort through the data in anticipation of draft, but there may be some wheeling and dealing before the league’s supply room commissioner announces the first pick in April.  “St. Louis is looking for somebody who can change the toner cartridge in the head coach’s printer,” says’s Mya Munix.  “They might try a sign-and-trade with Chicago for a document shredder to be named later.”


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